PHIL TAYLOR was crowned as the first Unibet Champions League of Darts winner with a brilliant 11-5 win over Michael van Gerwen in Sunday's final at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff.

Stoke legend Taylor, 56, claimed the £100,000 top prize in the PDC's first BBC-televised event as he capped an imperious weekend in Wales with victory over the current world number one.

Taylor had overcome the Dutchman on Saturday during the group phase of the event, and after the pair defeated James Wade and Gary Anderson respectively in the semi-finals the 16-time World Champion produced one more stunning display in the decider.

A strong start saw Taylor take an early 4-1 lead, missing two doubles in the leg which he lost, before the Dutchman produced an 11-darter and a 110 finish to pull back to 6-3.

Taylor then landed seven perfect darts in the tenth leg before finishing an 11-darter to move 7-3 up, and then punished misses from van Gerwen to pull six legs clear.

Van Gerwen hit back by finishing tops and 70, but the 15th leg proved crucial as the 27-year-old landed a 180 and 171 only to see Taylor finish 81 on the bull move to the brink of a win which sealed in style with a 114 checkout.

"It's fantastic," said Taylor. "I'm over the moon with this. Just to get to the final is tough, it's the top eight players in the world and it's hard work.

"I was worried about the final, with my energy levels, but I seemed to click at the right times and hit the right shots and put Michael under pressure.

"Michael's brilliant, he's just won three or four tournaments on the trot but maybe that showed in the final.

Taylor added: "I've really appreciated the Cardiff crowd, who were brilliant."

Van Gerwen picked up £50,000 as runner-up, but after winning four tournaments in the past week he admitted:  "Maybe the tank was empty but I know I can do a lot better.

"Phil was the better player, he won all his games this weekend and fair play to him. You can't win all the time but hopefully I can do something good in the next few tournaments.

"I feel fantastic but I let myself down in this tournament, and I'm disappointed with myself but I need to have a moment of rest."

World Champion Anderson had topped Group B with wins over Michael Smith, Adrian Lewis and Wade, but saw van Gerwen come from 4-2 down in their semi-final to power to an 11-5 triumph.

Wade finished second in Group B but fell to an 11-3 loss to Taylor at the last four stage, although the left-hander claimed £25,000 in prize money.


Unibet Champions League of Darts
Sunday September 25
Afternoon Session

Final Group Matches
James Wade 10-5 Michael Smith (B)
Gary Anderson 10-5 Adrian Lewis (B)
Phil Taylor 10-2 Robert Thornton (A)
Michael van Gerwen 10-5 Peter Wright (A)

Evening Session
Semi-Finals
Phil Taylor 11-3 James Wade
Gary Anderson 5-11 Michael van Gerwen

Final
Phil Taylor 11-5 Michael van Gerwen

Format
Group Matches - Best of 19 legs
Semi-Finals & Final - Best of 21 legs

League Tables
Group A

 

P

W

L

+/-

Pts

Phil Taylor (Q)

3

3

0

+19

6

Michael van Gerwen (Q)

3

2

1

+4

4

Peter Wright

3

1

2

-6

2

Robert Thornton

3

0

3

-17

0

Group B
 

 

P

W

L

+/-

Pts

Gary Anderson (Q)

3

3

0

+13

6

James Wade (Q)

3

2

1

+9

4

Adrian Lewis

2

1

2

-10

2

Michael Smith

3

0

3

-12

0



MATCH INFORMATION
AFTERNOON SESSION

MICHAEL VAN GERWEN survived his shoot-out with Peter Wright to reach the Unibet Champions League of Darts semi-finals on Sunday afternoon, as Gary Anderson and James Wade joined Phil Taylor in the last four in Cardiff.

World number one van Gerwen had to defeat Wright in their winner-progresses contest at the Motorpoint Arena to keep alive his hopes of claiming the inaugural £100,000 title in the BBC-televised event.

With both van Gerwen and Wright losing to Taylor on Saturday but also defeating Robert Thornton, the pair knew that the winner of their clash would move into the last four.

Van Gerwen, the winner of 19 tournaments so far this year, continued his impeccable recent record against Wright as he cruised to a 10-5 win over the world number five, taking an early 5-1 lead and holding on to the advantage.

Van Gerwen now takes on World Champion Anderson in the semi-finals on Sunday night, and said "I need to play my best tonight because there's no option now that the groups are over.

"It's knockout and I've got to win two matches to win the title, but I've got to take it step by step because Gary is always tough. That's why he's the World Champion, but I have to try and find a weakness in his game and play as well as possible."

Anderson booked his spot in the last four with a third successive Group B win, defeating Adrian Lewis 10-5 in their decider.

Lewis, who needed to win the contest 10-3 or better to progress, made a bright start to lead 2-0 and 5-2, but Anderson found his range to claim eight straight legs as he confirmed a semi-final berth.

Taylor topped Group A with his dominant 10-2 defeat of Thornton, who ends the tournament without a victory, while the 16-time World Champion progresses to a semi-final against Wade followign a win which included a missed double 12 for a nine-dart finish.

The left-hander held his nerve to defeat Michael Smith 10-5 in their final Group B clash as he sealed his own last four place, continuing the strong finishing which has been a feature of his weekend in Cardiff.

The £250,000 tournament concludes on Sunday evening with the semi-finals and final, all over the best of 21 legs.

James Wade v Michael Smith (B)
1-0 - Wade opens with a hold of throw as he takes out 62 on double ten.
1-1 - 110 on tops for Smith as he levels the score.
2-1 - 70 on D20 for Wade. Smith can only lose two more legs if he is to qualify.
2-2 - Smith takes out 20 on double ten.
3-2 - Smith crashes in the first maximum of the match but then misses the bull for a break of throw. Wade then checks out 40 on double ten.
4-2 - Wade breaks throw on double one.
5-2 - Wade hits double eight to take a three leg lead. Michael Smith can no longer qualify for the semi-finals.
6-2 - 25 on double ten for Wade as he opens up a four leg advantage.
7-2 - Smith misses two darts at tops to close the gap, allowing Wade to move in and hit double four.
7-3 - Smith stops the rot by taking out 89 on double eight.
8-3 - Double 19 for Wade as he moves five clear again.
8-4 - Tops for Smith.
9-4 - 41 out for a 12 darter for Wade. He's one away from the win.
9-5 - Smith keeps the contest alive as he takes out 91 on the bull.
10-5 - 41 on tops for Wade, he is in to this evening's semi-finals.

Gary Anderson v Adrian Lewis (B)
0-1 - A break of throw for Lewis on double ten.
0-2 - Lewis holds throw on double eight.
1-2 - Anderson on the board as Lewis misses two for a 3-0 lead before the Scot takes out 110 on tops.
2-2 - Anderson breaks back with 54 on tops.
2-3 - Lewis has the break back as he hits double ten.
2-4 - Double ten for Lewis as he opens up a two leg lead.
2-5 - Another break for Lewis as he takes out 40 on tops.
3-5 - Lewis misses chances to move four clear allowing Anderson to pin double 18 and close the gap.
4-5 - Anderson in to the semi-finals as he takes out 106 on tops. Adrian Lewis is out.
5-5 - Three in a row for Anderson as he takes out 28 on double seven.
6-5 - Anderson in to the lead for the first time as he hits D4.
7-5 - Now Anderson has a break advantage by taking out 75 on tops.
8-5 - Six legs in a row for Anderson as he hits double 18.
9-5 - Anderson one away from victory, winning his seventh leg on the spin.
10-5 - Eight legs in a row for Anderson as he tops the group.

Phil Taylor v Robert Thornton (A)
1-0 - Taylor in to the lead as he holds throw on double eight.
1-1 - Tops for Thornton as he levels the score.
2-1 - 32 on double 16 for Taylor as he moves back in to the lead.
3-1 - Taylor misses double 12 for the magic nine dart finish before going on to hit double two for a break of throw.
4-1 - Taylor hits D12 this time as he moves three clear of Thornton.
5-1 - Double five for Taylor as he breaks the Thorton throw again.
5-2 - 74 on tops for Thornton.
6-2 - Taylor averaging 109 as he hits D13 to move four clear.
7-2 - The gap grows to five as Taylor holds throw.
8-2 - Taylor will face James Wade in the semi-finals as he gets to eight legs.
9-2 - Taylor one leg from victory as he holds throw.
10-2 - 82 on double 16 for Taylor, he wins with an average of 108.

Michael van Gerwen v Peter Wright (A)
1-0 - van Gerwen straight in to his stride as he breaks the Wright throw on double nine.
2-0 - van Gerwen misses the bull for a 170 checkout before hitting double eight to go 2-0 up.
2-1 - 134 out for Wright as he gets his first leg on the board.
3-1 - Double eight again for van Gerwen as he holds throw.
4-1 - Wright misses a handful at doubles allowing van Gerwen to move in and break again.
5-1 - 85 on tops for van Gerwen to move four legs clear.
5-2 - 82 on tops for Wright as he closes the gap.
6-2 - 65 on tops for van Gerwen.
7-2 - Another break for van Gerwen as he hits D8. Wright only averaging 89.
7-3 - Wright goes in to the break four legs behind as he hits D8 for a 50 finish.
7-4 - Double ten for Wright as he moves within three of van Gerwen.
8-4 - 46 on double eight for van Gerwen.
8-5 - Tops for Wright to hold throw, his average now up to 95.
9-5 - van Gerwen one away from the semi-finals as he takes out 72 on tops.
10-5 - van Gerwen in to the last four as he hits double eight to knockout Peter Wright.

SEMI-FINALS
Phil Taylor v James Wade

0-1 - Tops for Wade as he opens with a hold of throw.
1-1 - Wade misses a chance to break allowing Taylor to pin D8.
2-1 - Wade misses tops and Taylor punishes him with 113 on tops.
3-1 - Another miss from Wade and Taylor hits double ten to move two clear.
4-1 - Taylor two breaks in front as he hits double ten again.
5-1 - Four in a row for Taylor as he takes out 32 on D16.
6-1 - Taylor breaks again taking out 50 on double 16.
7-1 - 86 on double four for Taylor as he opens up a six leg lead.
8-1 - Eight consecutive legs for Taylor as he breaks the Wade throw yet again.
8-2 - Wade stops Taylor's run of legs by hitting double six.
8-3 - Tops for Wade to reduce the deficit.
9-3 - Double four moves Taylor two legs away from the final.
10-3 - Wade's missed doubles allow Taylor in on double 12.
11-3 - Wade is unable to land the bull for a 122 finish, and Taylor seals victory on double eight.

Gary Anderson v Michael van Gerwen
1-0 - A break in the opening leg as Anderson hits double five.
1-1 - van Gerwen breaks back on tops.
2-1 - Three consecutive breaks of throw as Anderson hits tops.
2-2 - Another break as van Gerwen takes out 87.
3-2 - van Gerwen misses the bull for a 170 allowing Anderson to pin tops to break again.
4-2 - First hold of the match as Anderson hits double 18.
4-3 - Double 16 for van Gerwen as he holds his throw for the first time in the match.
4-4 - van Gerwen hits double 16 to break back.
4-5 - van Gerwen in to the lead for the first time as he hits D5.
4-6 - A break for van Gerwen as he goes in to the break with a two leg lead.
4-7 - Five in a row for van Gerwen.
5-7 - Important hold for Anderson, he takes out 60 on double ten for a 12 dart leg.
5-8 - van Gerwen responds to Anderson's 12 dart leg with an 11 darter.
5-9 - Double eight for van Gerwen as he moves four clear.
5-10 - van Gerwen one away from the final as he hits double 16.
5-11 - Michael van Gerwen in to the final to face Phil Taylor as he takes out 58 on tops.

FINAL
Phil Taylor v Michael van Gerwen

1-0 - Taylor takes an early lead by breaking the van Gerwen throw on double 16.
2-0 - Taylor doubles his lead, taking out 63 on double 16.
2-1 - Two missed darts at a double for Taylor allowing van Gerwen to get his first leg on the board on D8.
3-1 - One missed opportunity for van Gerwen and Taylor hits double four for a 3-1 lead.
4-1 - Another break of throw as Taylor hits double 16.
4-2 - One break back for van Gerwen as he hits double 16.
5-2 - van Gerwen misses D16 to close the gap to one, allowing Taylor to move in on D16 for another break.
6-2 - Taylor four clear, checking out 58 on tops.
6-3 - 110 on double 16 for van Gerwen.
7-3 - seven perfect darts for Taylor before checking out 52 on D16.
8-3 - Another break of throw for Taylor as he hits double 16 for an 86 finish.
9-3 - Taylor two away as he hits D10.
9-4 - van Gerwen hits a 180 and tops to hit back.
9-5 - Taylor misses tops and the Dutchman finishes 70 on double eight to break.
10-5 - van Gerwen opens with a 180 but pays for two sloppy visits, twice scoring 57 before hitting a 171, only to see Taylor finish 81 on the bull to move a leg away from victory.
11-5 - Taylor seals victory by brilliantly finishing 114 on double 17.